1988 Pannill Sweatshirts 500

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1988 Pannill Sweatshirts 500
Race details[1][2]
Race 8 of 29 in the 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
A map showing the layout of Martinsville Speedway
A map showing the layout of Martinsville Speedway
Date April 24, 1988 (1988-April-24)
Official name Pannill Sweatshirts 500
Location Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, Virginia, U.S.
Course Permanent racing facility
0.525 mi (0.844 km)
Distance 500 laps, 262.5 mi (442.4 km)
Weather Warm with temperatures of 79 °F (26 °C); wind speeds of 18.1 miles per hour (29.1 km/h)
Average speed 74.740 miles per hour (120.282 km/h)
Attendance 46,000
Pole position
Driver King Racing
Most laps led
Driver Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing
Laps 182
No. 3 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing
Television in the United States
Network SETN
Announcers Mike Joy
Benny Parsons

The 1988 Pannill Sweatshirts 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) race that took place on April 24, 1988, at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia.

Dale Earnhardt would personally take his 13-year-old son Dale Jr. to finish lane in order to show him off to the NASCAR Cup Series world that would end up admiring him after the elder Dale Earnhardt was killed at the 2001 Daytona 500 in a crash.


Martinsville Speedway is one of five short tracks to hold NASCAR races.[3] The standard track at Martinsville Speedway is a four-turn short-track oval that is 0.526 miles (0.847 km) long.[4] The track's turns are banked at eleven degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, is banked at zero degrees. The back stretch also has a zero degree banking.[4]

Race summary[edit]

It took three hours and twenty-eight minutes for the race to reach completion.[2] Notable speeds were: 74.740 miles per hour (120.282 km/h) as the average speed and 91.328 miles per hour (146.978 km/h) as the pole position speed.[2] Jimmy Hensley managed to qualify Buddy Arrington's #67 Pannill Sweatshirts Ford in the top-10 for the Pannill Sweatshirts race.[2] It was a shame a mechanical failure put him on the sidelines on lap 290. This was Hensley's only Cup start of the season.[2]

Harry Gant wasn't on his way to winning this race; having qualified in 3rd place and having to leave the race due to engine problems on lap 208.[2] Even if Gant had the lead on the last lap by a full straightaway, something would have caused him bad luck and forced him out of the race.

Forty six thousand fans would watch Dale Earnhardt in his #3 Chevrolet Monte Carlo defeat Sterling Marlin in his #44 Oldsmobile Cutlass by almost two seconds.[2] Earnhardt's other victory within the entire 1988 Winston Cup Series season came at the 1988 Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 near Atlanta, Georgia.[5] The most dominant drivers in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series during the 1980s were Bill Elliott, Darrell Waltrip, Terry Labonte, Bobby Allison and Dale Earnhardt.

Seven caution flags slowed the race for 46 laps.[2] Other notable drivers in the race included Bill Elliott (still racing on a part-time basis), Dale Jarrett (retired since 2008), Kyle Petty (retired since 2009), Ricky Rudd (retired since 2006), and Michael Waltrip (still racing on a part-time basis).[2] This race would also be notorious for being the event where Richard Petty would receive one of his final last-place finishes of his career. In reality, Petty would receive his 15th and final "last place" finish at the 1989 Holly Farms 400 race at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Ernie Irvan (in his #2 vehicle) and Jimmy Means (in his #52 vehicle) both failed to qualify for the race.

Total winnings for this race were $295,315 ($625,612 when adjusted for inflation) collectively spread throughout the qualifying drivers.[6]

Top ten finishers[edit]

Pos[2] Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Laps Laps led Points Time/Status
1 14 3 Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet 500 182 185 3:31:08
2 21 44 Sterling Marlin Oldsmobile 500 101 175 +1.99 seconds
3 29 8 Bobby Hillin, Jr. Buick 499 11 170 +1 lap
4 17 11 Terry Labonte Chevrolet 498 1 165 +2 laps
5 6 17 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet 498 0 155 +2 laps
6 26 28 Davey Allison Ford 498 0 150 +2 laps
7 24 88 Buddy Baker Oldsmobile 498 1 151 +2 laps
8 20 12 Bobby Allison Buick 496 0 142 +4 laps
9 31 55 Phil Parsons Oldsmobile 495 0 138 +5 laps
10 7 25 Ken Schrader Chevrolet 494 0 134 +6 laps


Section reference: [2]

  • Start of race: Ricky Rudd started out the event with the pole position
  • Lap 38: Harry Gant took over the lead from Ricky Rudd
  • Lap 66: First caution of the event, ended on lap 75
  • Lap 67: Terry Labonte took over the lead from Harry Gant
  • Lap 68: Harry Gant took over the lead from Terry Labonte
  • Lap 87: Second caution of the event, ended on lap 94
  • Lap 206: Sterling Marlin took over the lead from Harry Gant
  • Lap 246: Third caution of the event, ended on lap 251
  • Lap 247: Buddy Baker took over the lead from Sterling Marlin
  • Lap 248: Sterling Marlin took over the lead from Buddy Baker
  • Lap 286: Fourth caution of the event, ended on lap 290
  • Lap 287: Bobby Hillin, Jr. took over the lead from Sterling Marlin
  • Lap 292: Sterling Marlin took over the lead from Bobby Hillin, Jr.
  • Lap 312: Fifth caution of the event, ended on lap 318
  • Lap 313: Bobby Hillin, Jr. took over the lead from Sterling Marlin
  • Lap 319: Dale Earnhardt took over the lead from Bobby Hillin, Jr.
  • Lap 393: Sixth caution of the event, ended on lap 396
  • Lap 405: Seventh caution of the event, ended on lap 410
  • Finish: Dale Earnhardt finished the event in first place

Standings after the race[edit]

Pos Driver Points[2] Differential
1 1rightarrow.png Dale Earnhardt 1244 0
2 Increase Sterling Marlin 1167 -77
3 1rightarrow.png Bill Elliott 1129 -115
4 Decrease Rusty Wallace 1127 -123
5 Increase Terry Labonte 1097 -147
6 1rightarrow.png Bobby Allison 1085 -159
7 Decrease Neil Bonnett 1052 -192
8 Increase Bobby Hillin, Jr. 1030 -214
9 Increase Darrell Waltrip 1027 -217
10 Decrease Ken Schrader 1013 -231


  1. ^ "1988 Pannill Sweatshirts 500 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "1988 Pannill Sweatshirts 500 information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  3. ^ "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Archived from the original on September 12, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "NASCAR Tracks—The Martinsville Speedway". Martinsville Speedway. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  5. ^ "Dale Earnhardt: Rear View Mirror". Google Books. Retrieved 2012-12-15.
  6. ^ "1988 Pannill Sweatshirts 500 winnings information". Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
Preceded by
1988 First Union 400
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Races
Succeeded by
1988 Winston 500